The closer teens get to adulthood, the more intimidating it becomes. Even though excitement fills the air, being an adult brings a lot of unwanted responsibilities like paying bills, dealing with insurance and buying a house or car. When it comes to managing money or knowing how to cook, not every teen feels prepared for life after high school.
This has not always been the case. In the early and mid-20th century, home economics courses were an essential part of American high school and college education. In the late 1950’s, half of American high school females were taught how to cook and manage money, according to the Boston Globe. Then during the Cold War, the U.S. decided to put a greater emphasis on science and math courses. This meant more public education funding went to advancing those subjects, which left home economics in the dark.
High schools should still offer life skills as required courses because it benefits students after they graduate. Life skills courses, such as financial literacy and home economics, are important because not every teen has someone to teach them these skills outside of school. Learning them in school will allow students to feel more confident facing adulthood.
Elebetel Assefa, a senior at John D. O’Bryant High School, said, “I would be open to classes on necessary life skills because I have zero knowledge when it comes to general finance.” Assefa views life skills courses as a stepping stone for adulthood. “After high school, most students are adults and need to know certain things, because no one is going to be holding their hand anymore,” she said.
Rayven Frierson, a senior at O’Bryant High School, believes life skills courses would make her life much easier. “I feel it would help us in the future. I would go into the world a lot more prepared,” she said. Frierson thinks life skills courses should be required because she wishes to know more about managing her finances.
Dalena Thai, a graduate from the University of Massachusetts Boston, reflected on how her lack of knowledge about personal finances affected her transition to college. “Life in college was a struggle because you had to pay for everything on your own, like tuition, life expenses, etc. I learned how to pay bills when I was a freshman in college.” Thai looked for guidance from older students.
Thai views life skills courses as an important factor in a student’s life after graduating because it would help them make quality choices. “If I was taught all the life skills that needed for me when I was out in the real world, I would not have struggled to learn these skills on my own,” she said.
The problem goes back to teens not feeling prepared for adulthood, so we should be taught and exposed to topics like financial literacy and home economics in high school. If teens know the basics, we’ll be prepared in the future to be more financially stable and ready for success.